April 24, 2013

Infant killer gets life in prison

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — A man convicted of murdering his two-month old daughter was sentenced to life in prison in the Grady County Courthouse yesterday.

Royce Lee Jarnagin II, 23 of Chickasha, was found guilty in January of first degree murder in a 2008 incident. The jury recommended life in prison, and presiding Judge Richard Van Dyck agreed.

“Twelve people sat here and determined that Mr. Jarnagin was guilty in the murder of his daughter,” District Attorney Jason Hicks said. “I think it would be a travesty of justice to think they’re recommendation of life imprisonment be split.”

The defense had requested for the sentence to be split between prison time and probation. Jarnagin will appeal the life sentence.

In 2011, a warrant was issued for Jarnagin’s arrest in connection with an incident three years earlier during which his two-month old daughter was hospitalized and later pronounced dead. In court documents, Special Agent Holly Lynn P. Kelly of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported that a registered nurse informed her the infant had swelling of the brain due to lack of oxygen and retinal hemorrhaging to her eyes. The nurse reported these injuries were consistent with a baby being violently shaken.